Free Family Fun in November in Northeast Alabama
Free Family Fun in November in Northeastern Alabama
A visit to northeastern Alabama in November offers visitors an exciting getaway filled with eye-popping fall foliage, cooler temperatures and free festivals. The annual Canyon Fest, set for the first Saturday in November, celebrates one of the state’s highly rated natural wonders, Little River Canyon, and the Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot, which follows on the third Saturday, features a variety of family-friendly activities and its popular turkey toss.
Art, science, nature and music come together Saturday, November 4, 2017, in celebration of the natural wonder of the Little River Canyon. Now in its ninth year, Canyon Fest offers a day of live music, nature, art activities, and fun for the entire family.
A full day of entertainment is on the agenda for this year’s Canyon Fest. Dozens of artists and exhibitors will be on hand offering demonstrations and selling their handcrafted work. Old time fiddle and banjo music by Matt Downer will keep festivalgoers on their toes. Wings to Soar will bring its popular live birds of prey demonstration for an up close look at some of nature’s most fascinating creatures. Adults and children will especially enjoy the entertainment provided by Ron Anglin, a comic and educational juggler. With over 6,500 shows under his belt, this former teacher and Army aviator mixes juggling, comedy and science to create an entertainment and educational demonstration.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and all activities are held at the Little River Canyon Center located at 4322 Little River Trail NE (472 Alabama Highway 35) in Fort Payne. For more information on Canyon Fest, call 256.845.3548. There is no admission fee, but donations supporting the Little River Canyon Center will be accepted. For more information on Little River Canyon, visit their website.
The Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot is set for Saturday, November 18, 2017. The family-friendly event features live music, arts and crafts, petting zoo and food vendors. It also continues some of the original, old-fashioned games, including Money in a Haystack, sack races, and a cake walk.
What makes this event unique is the turkey toss from the roof of a building in downtown Collinsville. At the end of the day’s festivities, crowds still gather on Main Street for the historic turkey toss where, in keeping with more modern sentiments, beanie-baby turkeys are launched from the roof of a downtown business.
The Turkey Trot 5K Challenge returns this year after a successful launch during last year’s event. Runners take off from the Collinsville Public Library located in Collinsville’s Historic Main Street District. Then it’s off to a 1.5 mile climb to the top of Halls Gap Road, and from there runners turn around and race back down to the finish line where the festivities will already be under way. Trophies will be awarded to the overall male and female first place runners and medals awarded to the male and female runners in each age group. On-site registration and check-in will begin at 7 a.m. outside of the Collinsville Public Library. The Turkey Trot 5K Challenge will start at 8 a.m. with trophies, medals and door prizes awarded after the last runner finishes. Registration is available online or by calling 256.524.2323 for an entry form. Entry deadline to be guaranteed an official race t-shirt is October 31, 2017.
Turkey Trot began in 1912 as a promotional scheme for the Oliver Hall Company, a large general store located in Collinsville. The highly advertised event brought people from the surrounding area to Collinsville where turkeys, guineas and chickens were released from a scaffold built on top of the Hall’s store. The waiting crowd scrambled to catch a bird that would end up on their Thanksgiving dinner table. The Birmingham News reported as many as 10,000 crowded the streets for the exciting day that included bargains in all businesses as well as the Oliver Hall Company. Today, turkeys are still released from the roof of a building to a waiting crowd but the turkeys tossed are Beanie Baby turkeys that the lucky person can trade in for a frozen bird. In addition to attracting visitors to Collinsville for a day of fun, the event has become a major fundraising activity for the restoration of the Cricket Theatre.
Sponsored in part by the Collinsville Historic Association, the Collinsville Historic Turkey Trot’s hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and admission is free. All activities are held in and around historic downtown Collinsville.